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Delhi look to inch closer to play-offs in clash against MI


Visakhapatnam : Back in the top half of the league table after a convincing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils would look to build on the winning momentum when they take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in their IPL match here tomorrow.

The Daredevils were impressive in the first half of the league but inconsistency struck them in the later part as they lost back-to-back matches. Their comfortable win over Sunrisers must have brought back the confidence in the Zaheer Khan-led side.

A win at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium tomorrow will help the Delhi team put a foot into the play-offs. With 12 points, from 10 matches, the Daredevils are currently on third spot behind Sunrisers (14) and Gujarat Lions (14).

For Mumbai, on the other hand, it will be a do-or-die match as a loss tomorrow will leave them on the verge of being knocked out of the race for play-offs.

They now have 12 points from 12 games and are at fifth in the league table. After tomorrow, they will have just one match left in the league.

Against Sunrisers, the Daredevils dished out a top-class all-round show, that too without captain Zaheer who missed the game due to a niggle.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his good form in the league with two wickets and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile chipped in with two scalps as the Sunrisers batsmen were restricted to a small total of 146 for 8.

While chasing the target, the Daredevils batsmen clicked as a unit with in-form South African opener Quinton de Kock top-scoring with a 44. Promising domestic players Sanju Samson and Rishab Pant remained not out at 34 and 39 respectively to take Daredevils home with 11 balls to spare against the table toppers.

Zaheer has led the Daredevils really well, marshalling his resources and leading from the front with some impressive bowling shows. However, it remains to be seen whether Zaheer takes the field tomorrow.

Mumbai, who chose Visakhapatnam as their ‘home’ venue after the Bombay High Court cancelled IPL matches in drought-hit Maharashtra, have been inconsistent this season and they have never built a winning momentum, having almost alternate win and losses in their campaign so far.

They cannot slip up now as a loss tomorrow will put them in an extremely difficult situation to make it to the play-offs though there could still be a theoretical chance for them to make the cut.

Punjab, which is yet to win the IPL title, restricted Mumbai to 124/9 yesterday, mainly due to all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ career-best IPL figures of four wickets for 15 runs.

Then Murali Vijay played a captain’s knock hitting an unbeaten 54 and along with top-order batsman Wriddhiman Saha (56) helped KXIP cruise home comfortably scoring 127/3, with three overs to spare.

Prior to their win against Mumbai, Kings XI, which have also reportedly been hit by off-field controversy of an alleged rift in the team, had a heartbreaking one-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Handed captaincy midway into the league, Vijay has been trying his best to show the way, and would be hoping much support from the rest of the crew in the remaining games to give his team a chance.

Vijay is in good form and top-scored with an accomplished 57-ball 89, while Marcus Stoinis blazed away towards the end in the game against RCB, but the others failed to show up.

The form of David Miller and Glenn Maxwell has been a cause for concern. Coming back in yesterday’s match against Mumbai after being rested for a game earlier, Maxwell failed with the bat scoring a duck.

As far as bowling is concerned, the likes of Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma have been the pick among the bowlers while Axar Patel and Stoinis have impressed with their all-round performance.

Teams (from):

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Ashish Reddy, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhimanyu Midtun, Eoin Morgan, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Mehra, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shanker, Karn Sharma, Barinder Sran, T Suman, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh.

Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay (capt), Hashim Amla, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh, David Miller, Axa Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Nikhil Naik, Manan Vohra, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Shradul Thakur.

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